Spare a thought for the 60% of us who can't join you all in Shadow of the Erdtree because we never beat Mohg

A Tarnished grovelling for mercy in Elden Ring.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Normally I love a big game launch, and the release of Shadow of the Erdtree is certainly that. There's something so fun about everyone playing and talking about the same thing at once, a real sense of community. But it's all a lot less enjoyable when you can't get involved.

I never beat Mohg in Elden Ring. There, that's my shameful confession. But I know I'm not alone—in fact, according to the Steam achievement stats, more than 60% of owners of the game are in the same position as me. Without having hit that vital milestone (and more importantly not being high enough level for its elevated challenge), we're all barred from even starting Shadow of the Erdtree. 

Confused? Check out our guide to accessing Shadow of the Erdtree. 

I was at peace with that when I thought it was going to be akin to previous FromSoftware DLCs—cool and challenging, but short, and perhaps aimed more at very dedicated fans. Instead, it's a new open world so big it apparently feels more like a sequel than an expansion. A sequel to Elden Ring?! I want to play that! 

Sure, it's my fault I never beat Mohg, but he's hardly quick to find or defeat—I put probably 70 hours into Elden Ring at launch and don't seem to be anywhere near him (though plenty of dithering around my build at the time probably didn't help there). In the run up to the DLC, I resolved to go back and finish the game, but it was a foolhardy dream from the start—making time to go back to something is hard at the best of times in this profession, and that was before… the Curse. 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

As if Miyazaki himself was casting a blight over my last-minute attempts, things started to go badly wrong. First, the right bumper on my controller began to stick, making every press of the attack button a roll of the dice as to whether anything would happen. I figured I could push past that—how hard could it be to beat Elden Ring bosses with a 50% success rate for the game's most vital button?—until moving with the left stick started to hurt inexplicably. The problem there turned out not to be the controller again, but an ingrown nail in my thumb.  An infection quickly took hold that saw it swelling up into something so disgusting the inhabitants of the Land Between would probably worship it as a god. 

Plenty of thumb bedrest was in order, but now that I'm finally recovered, it's too late. While the rest of the team wax lyrical about flying kicks, lightning-fast dual-wielding, and all the brilliant things they're discovering as they explore this huge new land, I'm left all alone with my FOMO, knowing that by the time I get to experience it for myself, the zeitgeist will have moved on and it'll all be old hat. 

But… am I really alone? Or is anyone else in that big 60% feeling as left out as me? Let me know in the comments—and see if you can drown out all the people telling me to "git gud". Perhaps we can all get together to commiserate and give each other tips on base game bosses we haven't killed yet? 

Robin Valentine
Senior Editor

Formerly the editor of PC Gamer magazine (and the dearly departed GamesMaster), Robin combines years of experience in games journalism with a lifelong love of PC gaming. First hypnotised by the light of the monitor as he muddled through Simon the Sorcerer on his uncle’s machine, he’s been a devotee ever since, devouring any RPG or strategy game to stumble into his path. Now he's channelling that devotion into filling this lovely website with features, news, reviews, and all of his hottest takes.